The Great Recession is forcing states and cities to cut back on everything, from hospital funds to local elections. Now, it seems several metropolitan areas are so budget-strapped that they’ve had no choice but to reduce their police presence.
USA Today reports that cities like Oakland, Calif., and Tulsa, Okla., have not only been forced to lay off dozens of police officers, but the police officers who still have jobs have now been instructed to be more picky about which crimes should get attention.
"If you come home to find your house burglarized and you call, we're not coming," an Oakland Police spokesperson told the paper.
As it turns out, these police forces are no longer able to respond to crimes like fraud and burglary, and instead are focusing whatever funds and manpower they have left on violent crimes.
Now, we can certainly understand the necessity to prioritize the crimes you’ll respond to if there are only so many people on hand, but we would like to point out that the number of consumer fraud incidents actually spiked in many parts of the country during the past year while violent crime dropped significantly. If anything, we need more people protecting us against the small crimes.
Check out MainStreet’s roundup of other extreme budget cuts that states across the country have made.
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